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A Day Like Any Other Day

By Jocelyn Geboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 11, 2007 4:11PM

It was a Tuesday — a beautiful, sunny Tuesday at that. Most likely, most of the United States was getting ready for or just starting an average Tuesday in September. And then, the unthinkable happened. Two planes hit the World Trade Center towers in New York. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon, and yet another plane was crashed in Pennsylvania. The country was legitmately in "shock and awe." However, there were those of us who were sad and in mental shock, but in some part of our brains, not surprised that someone would try and show us what was what. Not too shortly after, when the fear rhetoric was flying around like confetti in a celebration parade, we wondered what the government knew about this horrific deed.

We were not alone. Almost immediately, the conspiracy theories were flying and people were speculating about all sorts of scenarios ranging from the government knew and did nothing to stop it, to it was all staged. It was hard to take any of this seriously, because people were in crisis mode and trying to figure out how to make sense of things and exactly what to do. Some people shut down during times of tragedy, some people collapse with grief. Yet others look around them and figure out what needs to be done.

2007_09peace.jpgCommunities and companies and churches jumped into action. Despite later problems and potential corruption, the Red Cross also was there to assist in any way they could. Celebrities organized and threw a benefit. The calls for money and volunteers and blood had people running to local entities to help. There were so many conflicting emotions for us. We knew that Americans were willing and able to do miraculous things in the face of tragedy, but we were sad that regular people weren't more involved in the day-to-day welfare of their country on a regular, non-emergency basis. We actually wondered to ourselves when the blood banks would go back to imploring people to give again.

The months after simultaneously dragged and sped on, and it seemed to us that now the Bush Administration had everyone where they wanted them: feeling helpless and scared, and oh-so-very-patriotic. Speeches were made, lies were told, and as is the natural tendency of a human, of a nation — fear was quickly turned to anger and rage. So began the decline of rational discourse and a commitment to diplomacy and compromise. So began the "no spin zone" and "fair and balanced" reporting kicked up tenfold.

So, here we are, six years later. The day now known simply as "9-11" or "September 11th" is indelibly locked in our consciousness like the day John F. Kennedy died or the Challenger blew up on national TV. The Chicagoland area is holding memorial ceremonies at various times today, and it will probably always be a time for reflection and a touchstone to the nation's grief over the loss so many American lives.

More thoughts after the jump ...

We're in a senseless war; wasting money and time that we could be using for education, health care and our economic insecurity. More importantly, we're losing lives and mangling bodies for a war whose initial premise was phony to begin with. And to truly add insult to injury, we're betraying the men and women we are sending to some unwinnable war by not providing them with the equipment they need, and treating them like second-class citizens when they come home. From a 51% to 90% jump in his approval rating after 9/11, to a 33% rating today — the emperor has no clothes, and he's taking everyone else down with him. Something(s) has/have gone terribly wrong, and some of us are biding time until there is a real chance to make some of this right.

Realistically, it seems most of us have gone back to our everyday homes and make do with our everyday lives. Things are bad, but we often feel powerless to do anything about it. We urge you to stand up and make a difference in your community even when things seem to be "fine."* Let's not wait until something terrible happens to stand up and show our collective strength that comes from our individual citizens making a difference in their own unique ways. We're still in the midst of tragedy, it just becomes like a toothache you learn to live with. We know there are lots of places that still really need your help.

*We've been told that word is an acronym for "Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional."

"Will Work For Peace" by signs of the times.